Linked below is my MA thesis written at the American University of Beirut 48 years ago. I have posted it here to try to bring all my articles into one place. Reading it over I am amazed how little has changed. Lots of new names, even new countries, ( UAE) but essentially the same great power rivalries are still with us. Russia still covets the Gulf and Iran still considers the Persian gulf a Persian Lake. The implications of the British withdrawal could be renamed the Implications of the American Withdrawal as we slowly back out of commitments. It is quite long and academic to read but it is about as good a historical study on the Gulf as anyone can find. . I used a lot of old British sources that are rare these days and spoke to a lot of Arab and British officials
One might check the Russia chapter or the Iranian chapter and get up to speed on the historical origins of the regional disputes and claims. A lot has changed, but not the essential factors. I loved doing this thesis and study that went into it. My great mentor Dr Joseph J Malone my mentor at AUB gave me all the encouragement and assistance I needed. His contacts and knowledge of the Gulf was phenomenal.
My time spent with the Trucial Oman Scouts was my time to act out my Lawrence of Arabia dreams. I caught the tail end of the waning days of old Arabia with camel patrols and living in the desert with Arab soldiers and loving every minute of it. (I wrote a previous blog on this so no reason to delve into nostalgia again)
Now Abu Dhabi and Dubai are concrete, steel, and glass jungles, brightly lit and with every modern convenience but the spirit is mostly gone. However the ambitions, jealousies, and old hatreds remain. The shah has been replaced by rapacious Mullahs in clerical garb, the Gulf Arab monarchies remain with a facade of democracy and a state run welfare system (for the minority citizens) . The oil is still important, so are the lines of communication and we still have commercial interests but how long will we pay the price to rein in the renewed Russian and Iranian imperialistic designs?
click on link below for thesis.